El Guapo in DC

I am El Guapo. The most Guapo man in all of DC. Mucho Amor

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Miguel, Yogurt y No Spoons

Miguel came over today as he does most days to eat my food. I have a better selection of food he says. Why doesn’t he buy the same things that I buy? He says that he forgets. He never washes the dishes after he leaves. He comes over, eats, talks and leaves. A real amigo that one.

Today, he was eating my yogurt. He likes yogurt. Banana.

“I like this banana yogurt, El Guapo. It’s the one name of a fruit that is the same. No one can make fun of me for the way I say it.”

I was actually out of spoons today. They were dirty, in the sink. Miguel, bless his heart, ate my yogurt with a knife.

You’re that lazy that you can’t wash out a spoon? You have to eat it with a knife?

“El Guapo, that’s the difference between you and me. You, bueno, you wash out the spoon. Not me. I eat yogurt with a knife. Just an ejemplo of how I live life on the edge.”

Do you eat soup with a machete?

“You have soup?”

This week, when he wasn’t pilfering my food, he bought a new wallet. Miguel is able to buy nice things for himself because he saves money on food.

Why am I telling you this today? Bueno, today I did something that I haven’t done in a very long time. Let me just say that many years ago I was a different person. Guapo as always, but different with mi vida. I have chosen a different path since then, but the skills acquired from that period in mi vida remain. Now, only used as party tricks and as practical jokes. So, anyway, before Miguel left, I borrowed his wallet.

In part, this is your fault, because I now feel the need to share what I find amusing with you:

Is this not the ugliest wallet you have ever seen in your entire life? I feel this wallet gives you a very good idea of Miguel. Only a “Miguel” could have such a wallet. It is so unnecessarily big that it doesn’t fit in any of his pant pockets. He claims it is made of crocodile, but I believe it to be made from some sort of rat. It is so obscene that people laugh when he pulls it out.

Me? No, I don’t laugh. Because only a man who eats yogurt with a knife can have such a wallet. Solamente un Miguel...

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Saturday, November 25, 2006


I went to the great state of Nebraska with mi Linda to celebrate Thanksgiving with her familia. Once in Nebraska, the land of blonde hair and blue eyes, we went to the ranch of an uncle to have our holiday feast. I was the only Guatemalan on the ranch and perhaps the only Guatemalan in the great state of Nebraska. You may be asking why I precede the state’s name with the words: "great state of." Well, this is how it’s done in the great state of Nebraska.

On this trip, I was introduced to chewing tobacco. This is what the men (and some women I’m told) do in the great state of Nebraska. They put finely ground pieces of tobacco inside your bottom lip and spit into an empty soda bottle until it is half full and used as a prank on a victim that must go through life knowing he drank saliva mixed with chewing tobacco and perhaps some cigarette butts. It is, by far, one of the most vulgar activities that I have had the pleasure of witnessing in the great state of Nebraska. Did I partake in this activity? Yes.

I was given the Copenhagen brand of chewing tobacco because this was the "real man’s brand" and I didn’t want to seem like anything but. The first feeling of having the real man’s brand of Copenhagen chewing tobacco in your bottom lip is one of fire. It is as if lit a lighter on my bottom lip and spit intermittently to ease the pain. The vomit in the mouth is also a feeling I was not familiar with. When I first experienced vomit in my mouth, I held it there because mi Linda’s brothers did not seem to be spitting any vomit into their empty Coke bottles.

"El Guapo, you look pretty pale."

Yes, I’m sure I did look pretty pale. While I was concentrating on not vomiting, I also forgot to spit my tobacco and ended up swallowing the real man’s brand of Copenhagen chewing tobacco. Now the fire was in my stomach.

"Boy, what are you doing eating half of a lemon?"

The men in the family were all standing around examining the objects contained in my vomit. I did not remember eating half of a lemon, but there it was gleaming on the floor.

"El Guapo, is this your spit cup? There’s not spit in it."

My eyes moved upwards to meet the Midwestern giants crowding around me and all I could do was raise my eyebrows in a "I don’t know" sort of way.

"You Guatemalans are some sort of crazy breed swallowing Copenhagen. You’re supposed to spit not swallow."

The humor of that phrase was lost since it came from a rancher with a sun weathered face and a new flannel shirt.

I need some chips, but not now. Rest is what I need. I have, after all, just experienced the real man’s brand in the great state of Nebraska.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Tuesday, November 21, 2006


Look, I’m sorry about this.

“Sorry? You can take your “sorry” and stick it up that fabulous ass of yours.”

Vamos, don’t get mad at me. I don’t even like you.

“Oh, yeah. It’s never your fault is it? You just like to prance around with your fancy embroidered jacket talking about your mustache? Well you know what? I’m sick of it. Get away from me.”

Ay, I just came out here to…

“Eye? What the hell is that? You’re always going around here doing your little ‘eye, eye, eye’! eye, jay, kay, el, em, en, oh, motha’ fuckin’ p. That’s part of the alphabet! Need anything else? Stop saying that. You so ignorant.”

Ok, EYE’m going back inside.

“You do El Assholio. You do that. You have that liberty. You just walk inside where it’s warm and people love you. Go ahead. I’ll just freeze my sorry tail feathers off out here. No, don’t worry about me. I’m just fine and dandy. You’re a selfish man, you know that?”

What do you want me to do?

“What the hell do you think I want you to do? I say you open up that sorry excuse for a gate and let me be on my merry little way.”

What are you going to do after I let you out?

“Listen boy, don’t you worry none about that. I grew up on the other side of the tracks if you comprende amigo.”

You grew up on a farm.


Ok, fine. I’m sorry, but I can’t.

“Fine. Whatever. I don’t care. I hope you enjoy me. You know what? I hope I come out all dry. I’ve been eating sand for the last couple of days and I hope it makes me taste like ass. I hope you enjoy eating my tasty turkey ass.”

But, I don’t want to eat your tasty turkey ass.

“No one does!!! Please! Let me go. I’m just a simple turkey who wants to LIVE!!!”

Fine. Happy Thanksgiving.

"You da man!!! F the Pilgrims!!!"

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Seriously, happy Thanksgiving to everyone. If you were the one who had to slam on his brakes because of a turkey running down 14th street, bueno, I'm sorry. You have to admit that it was funny. You flipped me off, but deep down, deep down, you laughed a little.

Sunday, November 19, 2006


I was in New York City this week visiting an amigo of mine who is doing well for himself. In the true Guatemalan spirit, he is letting the world know that we also have the brains to along with our amazing looks. After this little visit, I have decided to contemplate the direction in mi vida and have decided to become an artist.

You may be thinking that with my looks, I am already an artist as I bring beauty to the world, but this is not enough. I cannot be in many places and the weather is getting cold, so I am unable to walk up and down the street for more than a couple of minutes a day. Besides, it isn’t fair that only the residents of Washington DC get to see my mustache in all of its glory. So, I have decided to become an artist. A photographer. This way, I will be able to bring the beauty of the world seen through the eyes of a Guatemalan to more people.

What does my trip to New York have to do with my becoming a photographer? Bueno, at mi amigo’s gallery, I walked around looking at the prices and made the determination that the people who are buying the $40,000 pictures of banana plants, $2.5 million picture of grocery stores and $300,000 stenciled expletives are getting duped.

This picture of a banana tree is $40,000?

“El Guapo, it isn’t just a banana tree. The artist is trying to send us a message of the forgotten simplicity of life. Look at the lighting and how the banana tree is positioned slightly to the left of the frame. Look at the yellow leaf which looks out of place which symbolizes a place where society will never be again amongst nature and purity.”

Huh. Interesante. So, you basically say things like that so the gringos pay $40,000 for this, right?

“Yeah, pretty much.”

Forty thousand dollars for a picture of a banana plant with a yellow leaf. I figure that I can do this for a lot less and the investment potential is far greater because I will be the first contemporary, Guatemalan photographer from Washington DC with a mustache to break into the art scene. So, this is my first run at my new art:

What does this picture, titled "Honey por favor", really allows you to see? How is our artist feeling emotionally? Here we have a simple household sweet which is a bit more than half full. Or is it? Is the angle of the photograph giving the viewer an illusion of the bottle being half full or is the artist trying to portray the frustration of a life that always has a willing spoon that always finds itself empty? The old hardwood floor portrays a solid foundation on which life is based. Wood being the sacrifice a tree gave to allow the artist to have a sweet life. Estimated Price: $69.99

This photograph, titled "Switch of mi vida", is so profound that one must sit down to fully grasp its meaning. Taken in the artist's home, at a glance it shows a simple light switch with an unfortunate choice of color in the background. It is, however, much more than just this. The artist, having roots in the country of Guatemala uses this picture as a way to show that although he is immersed in a culture that may not appreciate the lime green color of his wall (here, his cultural identity) that he is unable to simply turn his Latino-ness on and off. The white of the light switch symbolizes the comformity pressed upon his heritage and the light of the picture shows his refusal to turn it off. This is a perfect example of the new Guatemalan art that is sweeping the art scene. Expected price: $119.94

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Monday, November 13, 2006

New Experiences

What do you mean you got a massage?

“I was stressed out.”

What kind of stress do you have in your life? Run out of chips?

“El Guapo, I was stressed out and went to get a massage. Have you ever gotten a massage?”

I looked at mi amigo and realized, sadly, that I had never gotten a massage. Not from an actual masseuse that is. I have just as much stress in my life as the next amazingly great looking Guatemalan with a mustache that would make Stalin stomp his feet in jealousy, but I have never gotten a massage.

“El Guapo, I had no idea that getting a massage was such an experience. I feel as if my whole life was a lie. Now I know why the gringos always talk and talk about getting a massage. This is why they smile all the time El Guapo. They all get massages.”

Si, I guess that makes sense. Tell me about it.

“Don’t blog about it.”

Don’t worry.

“I always see these ads in the Sports section of the newspaper. Oriental this, Asian that, Mystique this. Sabes? It seems that the Asians are the ones who give the massage to the gringos. So I pick one and go to it. It was a strange place, El Guapo. I didn’t even know that this building had people in it, but I thought that maybe it was one of those gringo inventions, like when old is good and beaten up is cool? So, I kept on going. I knocked on the door and this old Asian woman opens and looks me up and down. I got muy nervioso and she asked me if I had been there before. I said yes, because I didn’t want her to think that I was some Argentinean. Sabes?”


“Well, the woman who gave me a massage was wearing a really tight, black mini-skirt and really high heels. Her name was Ooni or something like that. I was expecting some kind of a nurse to do this, but the Asians like to wear a lot of makeup and get on top of you when giving a massage.”

They get on top of you?

“Si, they put their legs around you when they rub your shoulders. Bueno, it’s nice, but I couldn’t concentrate. Her heels were scratching my calves.”

Her heels? Interesante. Did you get a massage?

“Si. Bueno, kind of. She kept on coughing and giving me a strange look every time I would get relaxed. Whenever I relaxed and closed my eyes she would cough and wink or nod her head. After a while she stopped doing this and just gave me a massage. Then she asked me if I wanted to make the banana cry.”

Make the banana cry?

“Si. Make the banana cry. You know I don’t like dessert El Guapo, but why would they serve dessert in when I’m getting a massage?”

Si, that is strange. So, did you get the dessert?

“El Guapo, I did. And the banana cried. It cried a lot.”


Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Saturday, November 11, 2006


Pockets. I can not tell you with certainty, but I am almost convinced that they were invented by Guatemalans. The genius behind them points to a Guatemalan mind. Will you come with me while we look into how these came about?

José: Pablo, have you seen these amazing things that I have covering mi loins?
Pablo: Why yes, José. I have noticed, but didn’t want to intrude.
José: I call them pantalones, but I did not invent them. My cousin did. What I did invent was these…
Pablo: José! Are you a magician? How did you pull those many items out of your pantalones?
José: Si! No! I am not a magician, but si! Are they not amazing? I call them pockets. You can protect yourself from the elements with the pantalones, but with the pockets, you no longer need to carry small items on your head or in your hands.
Pablo: José, this is going to change mi vida. I have long wondered of a way to carry the many small items without dropping them on the floor. Now, because of your amazing Guatemalan mind, I can do this! Gracias José! Muchas gracias!

And this, mis amigos, is how the pocket was invented. It is not listed as such on Wikipedia, but soon, soon it will be.

Why am I talking to you about pockets? Have I been eating too many chips again? Well, yes. Miguel came upon some old chips hidden in one of his old coats and we ate them all. They were amazing chips, but this is not the only reason why I am discussing pockets. I am discussing pockets because there are some tourists in the great city of Washington DC who seem to be very much anti-pockets. And frankly, I can not stand anti-pocket people.

Why do I believe this? Because they have to wear things like this.

Why? Why do you make mis ojos cry with such a horrible device? Do you have so many things that you absolutely MUST carry on your stomach? Is the pack of M&M’s melting in your pockets? Do you have 77 pairs of keys? Is it necessary to carry around your garage door opener?

Margaret: Bill, you should truly take this bottle of Scope with you in case your breath gets ever so awful.
Bill: You’re right Margaret! Why don’t I carry the “V” volume of the encyclopedia in case I find myself with moments of unused time? Why, I can just place it around the base of my fanny with this outside pocket/belt contraption that I’ve just invented!
Margaret: Why Bill! That’s an incredible idea! You can wear it around your fanny and move it around the base of your stomach for when you sit down! I’m ever so happy I married you Bill. Let’s go pick wild flowers!

Please, Caucasian tourists of DC. You are no longer allowed to wear “fanny packs.” That’s an El Guapo rule. If you see someone wearing one, please tackle them. Gracias.

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The Eagle

My new winter coat, bueno, my new borrowed winter coat is made of black leather. It has the embroidered face of a forward facing eagle with its talons lifted upward in an “attack mode.” The eagle takes up the entire back of my coat.

If you walk behind me, there is a pretty big chance that you will wet your pants in fear of my attacking eagle. My embroidered, attacking eagle.

“It keeps you warm, no? Stop with the ugly face.”

Miguel, why couldn’t I borrow your other jacket that you never wear?

“Because. This one is much better. You look much cooler in this one. Muuuuuy guapo.”

I’m just happy that you’re enjoying this moment. Kick me when I’m down. What a great amigo you are.

“El Guapo, en serio, that jacket is great. I see all the chicas staring at you.”

Whatever. Did you vote?

“Claro. Did you think that I wasn’t going to vote?”

I never know with you.

“Did you think that I voted for one of your reasons? Claro que no. I voted so that I wouldn’t have to hear you complain and lecture me.”

Well, at least you voted. Way to do your civic duty. Did you vote for Fenty?

“No way. I hate that guy.”

REALLY? Por que? I didn’t even know you had a real opinion.

“Primero, the things you don’t know about me could fill Atitlan. Segundo, and please don’t think this is because of you, but I hate looking at that guy’s hat. I had a mayor who wore a bow tie every single day now I have to have one who thinks he is on a safari? He looks like a cancer patient with that hat and overcoat. Indiana Jones dying of cancer. No. He will not get my vote.”

You didn’t vote for someone because he wears a hat. Interesante.

“Si, claro. He is mi mayor. If he looks like un grande douchebag, then citizens of DC looks like douchebags. It was my duty as an Americano and a DC resident. I am very much anti-douchebag.”

So who did you vote for?

“I voted for the eagle on the back of your jacket. I think he would make a fine mayor.”

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo

PS: Gracias, really, muchas gracias to all the comments and personal e-mails I received regarding my last post. I am truly at a loss for words, if you can believe this, when it comes to how much I appreciate your kind words and generous offers. Mis amigos, mucho amor to you all. You are the best.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


Open letter to the thieves who broke into my house:

Ola. Como estas? Are you enjoying my television? Oh, what’s that? You forgot the remote control? I’m sorry. It was under the couch that you left behind. Next time I’ll place it on top of the TV for your convenience.

How about that stereo? Nice, isn’t it? Yes, sometimes the right speaker doesn’t work, but all you have to do is wiggle the wires in the back and the sound will come out just fine. Remember to wiggle it left to right and it will work better than up and down. I don’t know why this is, but trust me on this one.

You must be enjoying my I-pod. Yes, I do have quite an eclectic collection of music. I hope you enjoy Latino music because Daddy Yankee is definitely in the house. Hip-Hop, Brazilian, R&B, yes, even country music makes an appearance on that little machine.

Oh, I see you’ve taken my lap top. Yes, that was my prized possession. Gracias for taking that. I only had all my music, stories, and pictures on there. Memories, really. I mean, who wants to live in the past right? I need to be worrying about the present and the future.

Back-up hard drive you say? Oh, yes. That is a great idea, but it seems you were nice enough to take that too. Gracias. En serio, gracias. Starting from scratch is a good thing. It builds character.

I also appreciate that you decided to have a couple of beers while you robbed me of almost everything I had. Gracias for at least putting the empty bottles in the recycling bin. I’m ever so happy that you care about the future. We have to think about the little ones, no?

It seems that you also helped yourself to a couple of my shirts. You even took my winter jacket. I’m so glad you took that. I didn’t really need it anyway. It’s too warm for me when I’m walking to the bus stop. Really, you take it. The shirts you took? Yes, they were far too colorful for me. I’m glad you have them. The one shirt that was given to me by my abuelita and had never worn? Si, I’m glad you have it.

Oh yes, gracias for breaking all of the windows unnecessarily. That was very nice of you. I enjoy living in a place with plastic windows now. It’s very refreshing.

But you did do something that made me question your humanity. How dare you, you son of a dirty chupa cabra, eat my flan? How dare you, come into mi casa, and defile my refrigerator. What kind of a human being are you? Not even an Argentinean thief would take a man’s flan, so I do not know what kind of person you are.

I will promise you this, so please pay attention. I hope to all that is holy that I am walking down the street and see you wearing one of my shirts. I will not call the police or my Indiana Jones hat wearing council member, soon to be mayor. No, he will not be called. He is too busy trying on hats. I will take care of you myself. I really hope I see you wearing my shirt. I hope there is a little bit of flan on the side of your mouth. Oh, I only hope…

Mucho Amor,

El Guapo